The Director General of Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), Barrister Osita Abolama has called on importers of electronic appliances to stop importation of fake and substandard electronics into Nigeria.
Barrister Osita Aboloma made the call on Tuesday March 17, 2020 at sensitization workshop for members of International Market Association (Electronics Section), Alaba in Lagos, saying that the workshop was designed SON to create awareness on its activities towards eradicating substandard and fake products and boosting their businesses.
Barrister Osita Aboloma also advised them to expose any importer or trader among them who indulges in such life-threatening products.
Aboloma noted that SON has begun the upgrading of the SONCAP portal to facilitate legitimate importation and reduce turnaround time importers spend while processing the release of their cargo in the ports, adding that the organization had introduced various electronic platforms that would help the importers to speed up their transactions.
The SON boss informed that the major challenges facing by the organization are deliberate and willful importation of substandard/fake products, false declaration while admonishing the importers to make genuine declaration to avoid seizure and destruction which, he said, the SON is not pleased with.
He noted that the organization has joined a lot of international organizations including International Electrotechnics Commission (IEC) with the sole aim of improving standards to improve business and save lives in the country. He called on the electronic importers and traders to consult SON on development of standards.
Speaking on promoting self regulation to eradicate substandard electronics, Engineer Yahya Bukar, Director of Ports and Borders, SON, said some of the major reasons why goods were being seized were false declaration, lack of branding, lack of country of origin, among others.
Bukar noted that SON is in the port to certify products which is one of its mandatory duties, saying that self-regulation would help the traders to minimize loss of life and properties, seizure, turning Nigeria into a dumping ground for fake products and boosting of local industry. He advised importers to comply with the SONCAP rules.
While speaking, Engineer Obiora Manafa, Director of Inspectorate and Compliance Department, SON, said the essence of the workshop was to add value to the business of the traders and importers and encouraged them to create their own brands and register them with the SON and stop selling unbranded products that inimical to the health of Nigerian and the economy of the nation.
‘’We want to encourage you to create your own brands and register with the SON. The intention of importers of fake and substandard product is to deceive people. When you bring in unbranded products and fail our performance test, we seize them and destroy,’’ said Manafa who informed that no products or goods released to the market that did not pass compliance test.
Advising the importers to comply with the SONCAP rules and guidelines, Manafa said ‘’we have a lot of cases in the courts relating to forgery of our certificates, receipts and we don’t take this lightly.’’
Earlier in his address, the Chairman of Electronic Section, Evangelist Paulinus Ugochukwu applauded the SON management for sensitizing them on standards, saying that the market has put in place numerous measures to checkmate fake and substandard products in the market. He noted that many of traders and importers in the market were yet to commence their application for SONCAP and urged SON to give them more time to comply.
The importers and traders were tutored on SONCAP, MANCAP, dispute resolution and their relevance to their business.